Using calls, the bull calendar spread strategy can be setup by buying long term slightly out-of-the-money calls and simultaneously writing an equal number of near month calls of the same underlying security with the same strike price.
The options trader applying this strategy is bullish for the long term and is selling the near month calls with the the intention to ride the long term calls for free.
|Bull Calendar Spread Construction|
|Sell 1 Near-Term OTM Call|
Buy 1 Long-Term OTM Call
Once the near month options expire worthless, this strategy turns into a discounted long call strategy and so the upside profit potential for the bull calendar spread becomes unlimited.
The maximum possible loss for the bull calendar spread is limited to the initial debit taken to put on the spread. This happens when the stock price goes down and stays down until expiration of the longer term call.
In June, an options trader believes that XYZ stock trading at $40 is going to rise gradually over the next four months. He enters a bull calendar spread by buying an OCT 45 out-of-the-money call for $200 and writing a JUL 45 out-of-the-money call for $100. The net investment required to put on the spread is a debit of $100.
In July, The stock price of XYZ goes up to $42 and the JUL 45 call expires worthless. Subsequently, the price of XYZ stock rises to $49 in October. The OCT 45 call expires in the money and is worth $400 on expiration. Since the initial debit taken to enter the trade is $100, his profit comes to $300.
Suppose the price of XYZ did not rise much and remains at or below $45 all the way until expiration of the long term call in October, the trader will lose the initial debit of $100 as both calls expire worthless.
For ease of understanding, the calculations depicted in the above examples did not take into account commission charges as they are relatively small amounts (typically around $10 to $20) and varies across option brokerages.
However, for active traders, commissions can eat up a sizable portion of their profits in the long run. If you trade options actively, it is wise to look for a low commissions broker. Traders who trade large number of contracts in each trade should check out OptionsHouse.com as they offer a low fee of only $0.15 per contract (+$4.95 per trade).
The following strategies are similar to the bull calendar spread in that they are also bullish strategies that have limited profit potential and limited risk.
Your new trading account is immediately funded with $5,000 of virtual money which you can use to test out your trading strategies using OptionHouse's virtual trading platform without risking hard-earned money.
Once you start trading for real, your first 100 trades will be commission-free! (Make sure you click thru the link below and quote the promo code '60FREE' during sign-up)Click here to open a trading account at OptionsHouse.com now!
Buying straddles is a great way to play earnings. Many a times, stock price gap up or down following the quarterly earnings report but often, the direction of the movement can be unpredictable. For instance, a sell off can occur even though the earnings report is good if investors had expected great results....[Read on...]
If you are very bullish on a particular stock for the long term and is looking to purchase the stock but feels that it is slightly overvalued at the moment, then you may want to consider writing put options on the stock as a means to acquire it at a discount....[Read on...]
Also known as digital options, binary options belong to a special class of exotic options in which the option trader speculate purely on the direction of the underlying within a relatively short period of time.....[Read on...]
If you are investing the Peter Lynch style, trying to predict the next multi-bagger, then you would want to find out more about LEAPSÂ® and why I consider them to be a great option for investing in the next MicrosoftÂ®.... [Read on...]
Cash dividends issued by stocks have big impact on their option prices. This is because the underlying stock price is expected to drop by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date....[Read on...]
As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative....[Read on...]
Some stocks pay generous dividends every quarter. You qualify for the dividend if you are holding on the shares before the ex-dividend date....[Read on...]
To achieve higher returns in the stock market, besides doing more homework on the companies you wish to buy, it is often necessary to take on higher risk. A most common way to do that is to buy stocks on margin....[Read on...]
Day trading options can be a successful, profitable strategy but there are a couple of things you need to know before you use start using options for day trading.... [Read on...]
Learn about the put call ratio, the way it is derived and how it can be used as a contrarian indicator.... [Read on...]
Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa.... [Read on...]
In options trading, you may notice the use of certain greek alphabets like delta or gamma when describing risks associated with various positions. They are known as "the greeks".... [Read on...]
Since the value of stock options depends on the price of the underlying stock, it is useful to calculate the fair value of the stock by using a technique known as discounted cash flow.... [Read on...]
Risk Warning: Stocks, futures and binary options trading discussed on this website can be considered High-Risk Trading Operations and their execution can be very risky and may result in significant losses or even in a total loss of all funds on your account. You should not risk more than you afford to lose. Before deciding to trade, you need to ensure that you understand the risks involved taking into account your investment objectives and level of experience. Information on this website is provided strictly for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a trading recommendation service. TheOptionsGuide.com shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.